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Temple Grandin and KFC

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SASH

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Animal experts quit KFC over confidentiality pact By Nichola Groom
Thu May 5, 4:09 PM ET



LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two animal welfare experts said they resigned as advisors to fast-food chain KFC after the company asked them to sign an agreement preventing them from speaking publicly about its policies on such issues as animal slaughter.

Dr. Temple Grandin of Colorado State University and Dr. Ian Duncan of the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, said they stepped down from KFC parent Yum Brands Inc.'s animal welfare committee this week after being sent the agreement, which Grandin said would have required them to refer all media inquiries to KFC's corporate headquarters.

"I resigned because there is a document that I can't sign," Grandin said in an interview on Thursday. "I feel very strongly that I can talk freely to the press about how the program's working, what's been going on with the program."

Grandin, who has also worked with chains such as McDonald's Corp., Wendy's International Inc., and Burger King Corp., said she is used to preserving confidentiality with respect to suppliers and pricing information. But, she said, no other company, including KFC, has ever asked her to sign an agreement asking her to refrain from speaking to the press.

"Certain things are confidential ... I will not give out pricing information or information about who is supplying chicken where," Grandin said. "That type of confidentiality agreement I sign all the time."

KFC spokeswoman Bonnie Warschauer said the contract was no different from previous confidentiality agreements members of the animal welfare committee, including Grandin and Duncan, have signed.

"It's just the same confidentiality agreement they've always had. We're just asking everybody to re-sign it," Warschauer said.

She did not specify why the company was asking committee members to sign the agreement again, and added that she did not know whether other members of the committee had signed it.

"I don't see why they wouldn't," Warschauer said.

Warschauer said that Grandin, Duncan and another animal welfare expert gave KFC a list of recommendations on animal welfare in March. Warschauer said the company has a "plan of action" for each one of the steps on the list.

Duncan, who along with Grandin has served on the committee for about three years, said he, too, would have felt curtailed by the agreement.

"The way that I read it, it wouldn't allow me to talk in general terms about animal welfare," Duncan said in an interview on Wednesday. "If someone phoned me up and said 'You are on the KFC animal welfare committee,' I was bound to say 'No comment."'

KFC has been criticized by animal rights activists, who claim the chain has not done enough to make sure the chickens it uses are cared for and slaughtered humanely.

Last year, the issue reached a boiling point when a video made public by animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) showed workers at a West Virginia chicken processing plant that supplies KFC ripping off birds' beaks, spitting tobacco into their mouths and eyes, and stomping and kicking them.

Duncan said KFC still "has some way to go" in improving its animal welfare standards.

"I've not been happy with the progress that's been made in setting standards," he said.

Grandin agreed that KFC "needs to be strengthening some things," but said the company had made progress.

"Change happens slowly and they have been making some improvements," she said.

A call to KFC for a response to these comments was not immediately returned.

KFC is working on a new agreement with both Grandin and Duncan under which they would serve as "technical advisors" to the company, Warschauer said. She said the company would be adding members to its animal welfare advisory board.

Grandin said the company had contacted her in an effort to work out an agreement and said she would be willing to continue working with KFC so long as the confidentiality agreement was scrapped.
 

TXTibbs

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I think Temple Grandin is a joke!!

I'm glad her autism don't stand in the way of her life, but really....do we need someone to tell us the "flight zone" of our livestock???? I think anyone with a brain who works cattle or any livestock even the slightest sorta picks up on that without having to be told. Its sorta like breathing...maybe I should write books on how to breath, drink or eat!!!

All the money she made on her books, papers, tv publicty for her "cattle handeling techniques", such as the "flight zone", and using curved chutes would make any rancher prolly just wet himself in amazement that such a person exists. For the simple fact that this is knowledge that has been passed down through generations for years and now Temple Grandin has achieved worldwide fame for taking credit for "teaching" us all how to move a cow from one pen to the next!!!!! Our great-grandparents and grandparents would do a twist in their graves if they knew.

I for one don't think she deserves a bit of publicity or should even be mentioned anywhere when it comes to the handeling of livestock! She sure as he!! shouldn't get any credit for coming up with something that has been any ranchers knowledge since the start of time!

Why couldn't she of taken up poetry, skiing or accounting or something!!


I'll just shut up now.
 

Radar

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I can't disagree with ya TXTibbs. I was to the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison a few weeks back and they had watched about two minutes of a "Horse Trainer's" routine. All around me were what I refer to as "horse enthusiasts" (which consists mostly of 45+ year old women wearing jeans they really can't anymore) eating up what this guy was saying. It's not that this guy knew what he was doing, but more the fact that he knew how to market it. What comes as common sense from an old hand such as yourself is oohed and aahed by those who wanna be a cowboy. See ya down in Dallas next month. Later, From Wisconsin.
 

mrj

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So, Tex, and the rest of you, have any of you met Temple Grandin and talked at any length with her?

Have you never seen anyone who has been involved with cattle, maybe for generations, who STILL cannot figure out that often when working with cattle you have to slow down in order to get things done faster? You surely, being the good cowboy you genetics says you should be, Tex, know what I'm talking about. There are too many who just don't get it! There are too many, who when working cattle in a chute, just can't resist that meat bruising whack with a club, or that jab with the hot-shot, or giving the injection wherever it is easiest to reach rather than in the triangle on the neck.

Temple Grandin definitely is not like most people. It isn't that her autism gave her special insight into the way cattle brains function, but that the singlemindedness of some facets of the condition make her extremely focused. She has actually gone down the chute, jumped into the dipping vat, been caught in the squeeze chute, and more, to see how it felt and then studied the reactions of cattle, what is known through vetrinary and other studies of how the eye of cattle functions and more. All so that she could apply that to how better to work with them to achieve improvement in quality of the beef, for one thing.

I believe the surprising thing about her work, from what I have read and seen of it and also heard her talks several times over many years, is that her take on things is so very similar to the beliefs of some of the very best of the old cowboys who were excellent cow phsychologists in their own way.

I wouldn't be so quick to discount and discredit her work. I certainly wouldn't belittle her for making some money. And my guess is it would be dangerous to make any big bets on her getting filthy rich from it. In my humble obversation, she appears to be very generous with her copyrighted material. She is much more concerned about getting information into the hands of cattle ranchers than she is about getting richer. Just my thoughts, based on many years of observation of her personality and her work.

And I thank God that she is on our side, rather than working for PETA!

MRJ
 

TXTibbs

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MRJ,

I can tell your a Temple Grandin lover...haha...well I despise the woman and her very name makes my stomach weak! But no hard feelings...just talking right? :D

No i have not met or talked with Temple Grandin....and I don't ever care to. In fact I'd go through great lengths to avoid any of the ramblings the woman has to offer about cattle handeling techniques!

And you say that there are those who don't "get it", meaning those who "whack with a club" or "jab with the hot-shot". Yes there are people like that, always will be....they are in every profession, but can you see these people sitting down and taking lessons from the likes of Temple Grandin!! HAHA...thats a joke in itself. Most ranchers are hard headed and think their way is the best, especially if like you said they have been doing it for generations. It comes back to the whole, Grandpa did it, so I'll do it mind set. People are different....what works for one won't for the other and so forth. Cattle are different to...same goes for them.

I've been in chutes, even caught in some (unintentional), but one thing i've never done is dive into a dipping vat. A sane person wouldn't dive into a dipping vat, i don't care what kind of study you was doing. If Temple actually done this then perhaps she needs to be evaluated for lice or something?!?

As far as studying how the eyes of cattle work thats highly commendable and interesting stuff, since all animal eyes view things in different colors, and ways then humans, but that is way more scientific than any rancher ever will or needs to get. All they know is gee, if i go in front of a cow she will turn back.....if i get behind a cow she will go forward. They don't think about how their eyes see different ways than ours. So don't think Temple is some sort of Voo Doo queen because she is the first person to put all this in writing. Hell a trained Chimp knows if you ride to the right of a cow she'll turn left and vice versa!

And this is a direct quote of yours MRJ: "I believe the surprising thing about her work, from what I have read and seen of it and also heard her talks several times over many years, is that her take on things is so very similar to the beliefs of some of the very best of the old cowboys who were excellent cow phsychologists in their own way."

Well that pretty much sums up exactly what i was saying.......everything good ole Temple has been regurgitating to people has been known for years by one hell of a lot of people in the ranching business!!!!!

And as far as i'm concerned she isn't much of a step above PETA!!! I bet she'll hug a rabbit every chance she gets! (in case you have a different term, i call those PETA people "bunny huggers")

HAHA...anyway like i said....you like her, i hate her...no biggie. We will both exchange a few words and go on :)
 

mrj

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TXTibbs said:
MRJ,

I can tell your a Temple Grandin lover...haha...well I despise the woman and her very name makes my stomach weak! But no hard feelings...just talking right? :D

No i have not met or talked with Temple Grandin....and I don't ever care to. In fact I'd go through great lengths to avoid any of the ramblings the woman has to offer about cattle handeling techniques!

And you say that there are those who don't "get it", meaning those who "whack with a club" or "jab with the hot-shot". Yes there are people like that, always will be....they are in every profession, but can you see these people sitting down and taking lessons from the likes of Temple Grandin!! HAHA...thats a joke in itself. Most ranchers are hard headed and think their way is the best, especially if like you said they have been doing it for generations. It comes back to the whole, Grandpa did it, so I'll do it mind set. People are different....what works for one won't for the other and so forth. Cattle are different to...same goes for them.

I've been in chutes, even caught in some (unintentional), but one thing i've never done is dive into a dipping vat. A sane person wouldn't dive into a dipping vat, i don't care what kind of study you was doing. If Temple actually done this then perhaps she needs to be evaluated for lice or something?!?

As far as studying how the eyes of cattle work thats highly commendable and interesting stuff, since all animal eyes view things in different colors, and ways then humans, but that is way more scientific than any rancher ever will or needs to get. All they know is gee, if i go in front of a cow she will turn back.....if i get behind a cow she will go forward. They don't think about how their eyes see different ways than ours. So don't think Temple is some sort of Voo Doo queen because she is the first person to put all this in writing. Hell a trained Chimp knows if you ride to the right of a cow she'll turn left and vice versa!

And this is a direct quote of yours MRJ: "I believe the surprising thing about her work, from what I have read and seen of it and also heard her talks several times over many years, is that her take on things is so very similar to the beliefs of some of the very best of the old cowboys who were excellent cow phsychologists in their own way."

Well that pretty much sums up exactly what i was saying.......everything good ole Temple has been regurgitating to people has been known for years by one hell of a lot of people in the ranching business!!!!!

And as far as i'm concerned she isn't much of a step above PETA!!! I bet she'll hug a rabbit every chance she gets! (in case you have a different term, i call those PETA people "bunny huggers")

HAHA...anyway like i said....you like her, i hate her...no biggie. We will both exchange a few words and go on :)

Tx, you are young, you can learn, and I sincerely hope that you do. Wasting your energy hating someone who is working to improve cattle handling won't serve you or anyone else well. Who taught you that you know it all and cannot, or do not need to learn anything from anyone else, or did you pick that up all by yourself?

There will come a day, and probably sooner than some so called cattlemen will like, when you WILL NOT be able to get much of anything for those great looking calves if they have not been treated right and you don't have the papers to show how you handle them on your ranch. There still is far too much bruising, injection site lesions, and other problems in the meat. And those bruises and other problems carry all the way through from when baby calves are injected improperly, or hit, or run into things. There still are way too many things on ranch cattle working pens and in cattle auctions, that virtually reach out and grab an animal that is frantically trying to escape whatever it fears in ill-designed facilities. People who are looking for those things and taking care of things you put down so quickly are going to have smoother days working their cattle and less of them will be discounted for problems later up the food chain, mark my words. Though I'm nearly 65, I sort of hope I'm still live when it happens, not just so I can say "I told you so!"
MRJ
 

Faster horses

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Believe it, TX, that there are many people who own ranches now that barely know which end of a cow eats grass. They don't know which way a cow turns or how high she can jump. So T. G. has a place. I respect her for 'thinking like a bovine.' (I had the word 'cow' there, but that didn't sound very good~so I changed it to bovine. LOL!)

Anyway, why are you so threatened by this lady~or woman~that has successfully designed working facilities for feedlots,ranches, etc.? Usually when something is designed that makes cattle work better, everything works better. Just because a great-grandfather ranched, doesn't mean a better set-up couldn't be found than what he used. Lots of things have been 'improved' upon.

There are far too many who work cattle WAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY too fast. Cows are slow creatures. When they have to move fast, they lose their cool. TG has picked up on this, she has been very successful even handicapped as she is. She promotes slow and easy and that's how we work cattle anyway, not because of something she wrote. But it is fun to read her 'why's and wherefore's'. The law of supply and demand is evident here. If what she has to offer wasn't in demand, I don't think we would have heard about her for all these years.

Besides, hating someone takes a lot of energy.
 

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Your getting the wrong idea there MRJ and faster horses!

There is no energy wasted with me disliking Temple Grandin.....this is the first time i've thought about her or heard her name in months.

And also I never once said that i know it all and dont need to learn things. There is plenty I could and prolly need to learn, but I'm sure as hell not going to learn it from Temple Grandin!! Anyone who relies on her for their techniques obviously has no business to be in the business I sorta feel. And they sure as hell don't have a sense of imagination or much of a thought process at all if they can't figure out the same basic concepts your beloved Temple preeches!

HAHA.....and i seriously doubt that Temple Grandin will be the sole savior of brused cattle world wide!!!

I'm sure she has her own devoted little group of followers, you included, but your barking up the wrong tree, I won't be converted to bow down and kiss the ass of Temple Grandin!!
 

DJL

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I remember when Ray Hunt was new up here, and all the old boys (and young) who thought he wasn't up to much either. I know many guys who used to break horses in the old way, which was often the rough way, converted to Ray's gentler methods. Same goes for cattle handling; sometimes someone needs to point out the obvious, to get people thinking about it. There are still a lot of people out there who use deplorable handling methods, and could use a lesson in slow and calm.
 

Brad S

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Many of the "standard tricks " came from TG. She has revolutionized the processing/loading end of the beef industry, and reduced considerably the bruising. Many giant feedyard have used TG to design a procesing facility. I think people that don't really understand TG think she is opposed to the beef biz, but she has helped us.
 
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Brad S.,

You are exactly right. You said what I was going to type.

Temple Grandin has done more to improve animal welfare for the mutual benefit of the animals and the producers, feeders, and processors than all the animal rights groups combined.

Many feedlots and packing plants of all sizes have consulted her when designing their facilities.

She has came up with many ideas that I have never seen anywhere else. A classic is a counterweight on an overhead alley stop to create less resistance and less noise as opposed to the rattling chain alley stops. Her idea of herring bone pens I have not seen anywhere else and works like a charm as opposed to the less visible side pens.

I have nothing but respect and admiration for the lady and I have met her and listened to her presentations many times. I see nothing but true animal welfare sincerity.

As Brad suggested, she can certainly take some of the credit for the reduction in bruising and dark cutters in the U.S. beef supply.

I can appreciate the lengths she has gone to in order to better understand animal behavior but I too think jumping into a dipping vat is a little over the edge even if it only contained clean water.

Tibbs you obviously do not know Temple Grandin.

Her animal welfare concerns are not based on animal rights philosophy. I hope you didn't make the mistake of assuming that they were.



~SH~
 

Cal

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Good for everyone who came to the defense of TG. You don't work cattle in your job anyway, do ya Tibbs?
 

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Late this afternoon, I decided to drive about a hundred and twenty-five miles away to pick up a hay baler that has been worked on this winter. I asked my son and daughter-in-law to ride along, and we all had a good time visiting and seeing the countryside as it is turning green.

My daughter-in-law loves to wrestle calves at brandings. She and three or four other local gals are highly in demand to do this job, and they are booked for about every day all spring. They travel far and wide, and get to see a lot of various methods in working cattle, from rounding up, to sorting the cows away from the calves, etc. She laughed as she told of some of her experiences, and about how some ranchers just plain don't have it figured out how to handle cattle. She would like to tell them, but she just bites her tongue and does what she is paid to do--wrestle calves and hold them down so they can be branded, vaccinated and processed.

I appreciate her insight, and also that of Temple Grandin. I have never met Temple, but am aware that she has done much to promote the safe handling of cattle, both for the cattle and for the humans involved. A good friend is a long-time trucker with a lifetime of experience working cattle. He went to one of her clinics a few years ago, and came away with many new ideas on how to handle cattle easier. This trucker complimented us on how our calves load, when we haul them to the salebarn. It was not "planned" so to speak, but after we sort the cows away from the calves, they are turned out into a big lot right where the trucks are loading. The bawling of the cows in front of the calves helps to persuade the calves to load easier. Like I say, we didn't do this on purpose, but the fact that we did by mistake helps the calves to load easier and with less stress.

Anytime a person gets in on a cattle working, things are learned. Some ideas are on how to do it better, and others are how not to do it ever again. A person never gets too old to learn.
 

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Speaking of learning something new, no matter how old you are, I had an eye opening experience this evening. As far as fast food places are concerned, ranking at the very bottom of my list has always been Subway Sandwiches. I have just never liked them. Well, tonight this was the easiest and fastest place to eat, and I wanted to get my baler off the highway before it got plumb dark.

I finally figured out why I've not liked these sandwiches--there has been too much stuff on them, including pickles, olives, onions, peppers, etc. Tonight I just had them put the meat, lettuce, tomatoes, and a sweet onion sauce on plain white untoasted bread. It was just pretty darned good, and I will try them again. Live and learn.
 

Cal

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Soapweed said:
Anytime a person gets in on a cattle working, things are learned. Some ideas are on how to do it better, and others are how not to do it ever again. A person never gets too old to learn.

Has anyone else noticed that it's often times easier to work, especially sorting, with just a skeleton crew? Make that a nice quiet skeleton crew.
The veternarian that used to live here generally made working cattle alot more difficult than necessary when his services were needed just by his mannerisms, voice, and VOLUME. His wife was also a vet, and when they were together they fought like cats and dogs, you almost felt embarassed for them, and cattle sensed their hostility. Taking a heifer in for a ceserean, especially at night, really left you with the feeling that you had imposed on them. When he came out alone he mostly talked too much and too loud. Actually not a bad guy, but he would have made a hell of alot better drill sargeant. When they left the country we started using a young vet from Gordon, NE and don't have plans to ever quit him even though it's a little bit out of the way. It's especially noticeable how much smoother bull testing has become, just by having someone do it who doesn't assume cattle are hard of hearing and actually can be made to understand what you're telling them if told loud enough!

Soapweed, on the subject of Subway; I like to order the low carb wraps. I don't mind their sandwiches, but seems like they use about a whole loaf of bread when they make one, and they can "convert" pretty much anything to a wrap. Helps keep the belly nice and flat. :)
 

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We have known vets of about every kind. When we used to AI, the vet that did the work for us was a huge man. With a huge voice. And he used it often. But, when AI'ing he sang or hummed softly to those heifers and he called 'em sweetheart, honey, etc. It was pretty funny~and he got a lot of 'em settled!

My husband discovered long ago the situation Soapweed mentioned. Sure does make it easier to handle calves if they are worked TOWARD their mothers. Have seen too many times when the cows were penned behind them.

One of the best compliments I ever heard was from a man that was legendary as a good hand in Wyoming. He had everyone's respect. When he was in his forty's, he had this to say about one of his older neighbors: "I want to be just like him when I grow up!"

At a branding we attended lately, the branding pen was too small and pointed to a 'V' in one end. The calves were jammed up into that 'V' and pretty dead (unmoving). Made it hard on the ropers. Then there were some ropers that just don't understand. Three ropers and all three trying to rope in the small pen. When it was my husband's turn, he just waited until one roper went out, or both went out. They never caught on tho, and one or both of the other ropers just wallered in when he was roping. Sometimes they rode right into the middle of the calves. There is a right way and a wrong way to do everything...

Guess it just depends on how much you want to know.

My husband would never say a word. They'd have to drag an opinion out of him~
 

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Cal

Has anyone else noticed that it's often times easier to work, especially sorting, with just a skeleton crew? Make that a nice quiet skeleton crew.

On this operation all sorting is done by a basic crew.

Wife sorts and I run gates - she has a knack and is so quiet I have to mark the ground to see if she moves.

A cane and a soft voice - she puts most I know to shame.

She points to the gate and I open it - she turns around and I close it.

Woe to me tho if I screw up her system!

It is a rare day that one gets away on her.

We tried it once with a couple of neighbours - they shouted - yelled - waved and ran. What a mess.

Wife made us break for coffee and 30 minutes later made them stand behind the fence and watch.

They had been in the pens for an hour and accomplished nothing - wife was done in 15 minutes. I was so darned proud of her I almost busted.

Broke Cowboy
 

Soapweed

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Cal: "The veternarian that used to live here generally made working cattle alot more difficult than necessary when his services were needed just by his mannerisms, voice, and VOLUME. His wife was also a vet, and when they were together they fought like cats and dogs, you almost felt embarassed for them, and cattle sensed their hostility."

I knew them well. Good people, and always a good fight between the two of them. I teased them one time, that the reason I came to them for bovine medical assistance was because I didn't have to go far to get a second opinion. The scenario was always: One bovine + one medical problem = two opinions. Gotta say I miss them since they're gone. :)

Cal: "It's especially noticeable how much smoother bull testing has become, just by having someone do it who doesn't assume cattle are hard of hearing and actually can be made to understand what you're telling them if told loud enough!"

It's really even smoother doing bull testing since I have gone to using all yearling bulls that are tested before I buy them. Pull the plug and sell them in the fall, and then buy a new bunch of tested yearling bulls the next spring.

Fertility testing old bulls is one job I don't miss, and I haven't done it for years. Before I started the "buy yearlings, use them one season, and sell them" program, I used to use bulls three years. For a long time I bought yearling bulls, used them three seasons, and sold them in the fall of the third breeding season. Unless they had gone through a blizzard and looked noticeably ruined, I never tested them. Turn out four bulls per hundred cows, and even if one or two aren't performing a hundred percent, the cows will get bred.

One time I went to check on my yearling heifers that another rancher was wintering for me. A big old Charolais bull was in with them, and the sight sent shivers up my spine. I immediately brought it to his attention, and he said not to worry as the vet checked him and he was "shooting blanks". Somehow, I still worried, and my fears were confirmed the next year when I got four calves out of the non-perfoming bull, who was only with the heifers for a day. All were C-sections, and one of the heifers even died. So much for sound science. :???:
 

Brad S

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Soapweed, your idea to run yearlings and swap them makes considerab;e sense except that's alot of bulls. Do you raise them yourself? Do you feed them or swap them after the season? Do you have a bull cost per cow comp of yearlings vs 3 years of service? When I run yearlings I stock 1 yearling per 10 or 15 cows, you agree or do you go more than that?
 

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Brad, I've got my yearling bulls bought up for an average of $1175 per head, delivered in the first of May. This includes the price of the bulls and their winter feed bill until May. I will run them during the breeding season at the rate of one bull per 25 cows. When the season is over, I will just haul them into the salebarns and sell them as cutting bulls. From past experience, a yearling bull is worth just as many dollars as is a heavier two-year-old which is worth less money per pound. A three year old bull weighs more and brings more per pound than a two-year-old. Anyway, I just bail out any more after the first season. If I can get them bought right, "rent" usually comes out to be less than $300 per bull, but you have to "own" them to make this work. The glorious part is, you don't have to keep them and put any more feed costs into them, and the money isn't tied up until the next spring.

I do have a few spare bulls bought up also, in case there are problems. This past spring we calved out some real nice Angus cows that I bought. So far we've kept back 17 head of their male calves that are still "intact", and we will use them as breeding bulls a year from now.

Last week, I bought up six more red Simmental bulls than I needed. They are jim dandy for quality and the price was right. This is more red bulls than I need for our red cows, so I have decided to sort out all of our black baldy cows. Instead of breeding them black like I usually do, I will put these red Simmental bulls with them. The extra hybrid vigor should produce a lot of beef.
 

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